Collectors book "Spontaneous Yeast"

I was fortunate enough to save a little known book from that
necessary activity that is embarked upon with the best of intentions
which sometimes yield grave results, the dreaded "technical update".
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not a technophobe, or a Luddite, possibly a
romantic but that's another story. This book was very nearly discarded
to the dust bin never to be found again.

This book is a hardcover industry publication - the advertisements
dotted thorough out make that clear - , a handbook of sorts that lists
and gives formulae for the many spontaneous yeast barms that individual
bakers were using in most parts of Australia prior and up to 1929.
Although the book has many formulas with quaint names such as
"Williamson's Yeast" , "Quick Wayback Yeast", "An Eminently
Satisfactory Yeast" etc. etc. the author treats it as an educational
tool to educate bakers regarding basic yeast morphology and growth
requirements with sketches and even a microscope photograph. The author
also goes into baking bread in general and gives bits of technical
information that bakers would find useful. One such technical aspect of
this book is the brief introduction to "pure culture" of commercial
yeast which was already accepted in some city bakeries. However, Mr.
Frank B. Withers isn't pulling any punches and states that country
bread is noticeably better than city bread due to the "spon yeasts"
still being used.

Withers devotes a section on faults and featuring among them is
"Sourness in Bread" with explanations of how certain conditions in
bread doughs favours lactic acid bacteria and he gives remedial actions
that can be taken to reduce the sourness of bread through barm
management and dough fermentation times etc.

As a piece of history I treasure it and find it fascinating to read
as well as savour the wherewithal of Withers as a technical baker. I
have to admit I haven't tried any of these formulae but perhaps one day
my good intentions will come to fruition, but in the mean time I
thought some here may find it interesting.

Below is a few photos of the first pages and contents.

The book is dedicated to E J Birbeck

The Contents

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10 comments

Here's a few examples of "spon" yeast formulae from Queensland & South Australia from Frank B. Withers book [b][u]"SPONTANEOUS YEAST"[/u][/b]

p48
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/8590-2/IMG_3071.JPG[/img]

p49
[img]http://www.sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/8593-2/IMG_3070.JPG[/img]

Much as I love the immediacy/convenience of modern sources of info, I'm a book lover, and this book of a bygone age, and, with such insight, is definitely to be appreciated. Thanks for sharing, Boris.


Hi Danubian,
Im researching Bakery history and culture in oz,and am thrilled and amazed at your discovery of this book.Would it be possible for you to photocopy it and send me a copy,im happy to pay what it costs of course? cheers John Downes


 

[quote="JohnD"]Hi Danubian,
Im researching Bakery history and culture in oz,and am thrilled and amazed at your discovery of this book.Would it be possible for you to photocopy it and send me a copy,im happy to pay what it costs of course? cheers John Downes[/quote]

I can't see a problem with your request, John.

Send me a PM of your details etc., but you'll have to make it soon as I'm leaving Australia for more than a month in the latter part of July.

Awesome,thanks.....John Downes P.O.Box 152 Aldinga,S.A. 5173
Ph.(08)85577142 / 0422950697.


 

John, I've posted you a copy this morning. Don't worry about costs, buy me a beer next time you're in Sydney.

My man! cheers, will be happy to oblige...hey i had a spelt beer in Melbourne other day...it was very special!


 

Let me know if it arrived; I'll be back in September. But I'll have a look in here during my travels.

Have a good time, Boris! And do tell all about your bread (and other food) sampling during your travels.

;)


John, Did the parcel arrive?